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παρεχόμενον—‘propose,’ ‘put forward.’
γνώμας ἐποιοῦντο—‘offered various opinions’ or ‘made proposals,’ in the Assembly, of course. ἐπικαλοῦντες—anacoluthon, as though a personal constr. had preceded. Cf. II. 53 θεῶν φόβος οὐδεὶς ἀπεῖργε, τὸ μὲν κρίνοντες, VI. 24 ἔρως ένέπεσε . . εὐελπίδες ὄντες, Eur. Hec. 971 αἰδώς μ᾽ ἔχει . . τυγχάνουσα. τήν τε ἄλλην . . καὶ προσξυνελάβοντο—(1) they reproached them with revolting under specially grave circumstances, οὐκ ἀρχόμενοι; (2) their rage was largely due to the appearance of a Pel. fleet on the Ionian coast. As the sentence stands it is illogical, since τήν τε ἄλλην should be followed by something like καὶ ὅτι τὰς ναῦς ἐπηγἀγοντο. (As to Classen's insertion of καί after ἀπόστασιν—on whieh there has been some subtle argument—we may regard it as possible, but scarcely necessary.) For the change from partic. to finite verb cf. V. 61 βουλόμενοι ἄλλως τε . . καὶ ὅμηροι ἦσαν. It is frequent in Herod. προσξυνελάβοντο—for this reading ef. IV. 47 ξυνελάβοντο τοῦ τοιούτου οὐχ ἥκιστα οἱ στρατηγοὶ κατἀδηλοι ὄντες. The emphasis is, of course, on the partic. (τολμήσασαι), as often. οὐκ ἐλάχιστον is adverbial. The other reading, προσξυνεβάλετο, ‘contributed,’ τὸ ἐ. (sc. μέρος) τῆς ὁρμῆς being object,—cf. Ath. Pol. 19 συνεβάλλετο οὐκ έλάττω μοῖραν τῆς ὁρμῆς—is defended by IV. 25 αἴτιον δὲ ἦν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι προειπόντες and VIII. 9 αἴτιον δὲ ἐγἐνετο . . οὶ πολλοὶ οὐκ εἰδότες, but the present instance goes further. οὐ γὰρ ἀπὸ βραχείας διανοίας—‘it was no small design, they thought, that had led them to revolt,’ viz. the design of bringing about a revolt of Ionia with the aid of the Pel. fleet.
ἄγγελον—pred. to τριήρη.
μετάνοιά τις—τις is often added thus to words expressing feelings that rise half involuntarily, as with ῥώμη, ὄκνος, κατήφεια (‘dejection’), φειδώ (‘reluctance’). ὠμὸν . . αἰτίους—in the tragic style, and unusually rhythmical for Thuc. (πέφευγε τὸ εἶδος, says Hermogenes): the sentence breaks into two corresponding halves after πόλιν, μέγα being elided and ἢ οὐ, of course, counting as one long. μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ—ἤ implies a negative, and any sentence implying a neg. is apt to be strengthened by an expressed neg. (M.T. § 815): cf. II. 62 οὐδ᾽ εἰκὸς χαλεπῶς φέρειν μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ . . ὀλιγωρῆσαι.
πρέσβεις—c. 28. τῶν Ἀθηναίων—the order as in c. 22, 5. παρεσκεύασαν — ‘got them to.’ οἱ ἐν τέλει are the ‘government,’ i.e., presumably, the Strategi, who, in time of war, could have a special meeting of the Ecclesia summoned. αὖθις γνώμας προθεῖναι—‘allow a fresh debate’: to re-open a matter that had been settled in a recent meeting of the Ecclesia seems to have rendered the person responsible to impeachment; but the Ecclesia, as the sovereign power, could by a majority of course do anything, provided that the Prytanies and the president of the meeting consented to submit a proposal for discussion. (The evidence on the point is doubtful; but the account here given reconciles the various passages that bear on it.) ἔνδηλον ἦν—the personal constr., esp. common with δῆλος. τινας—‘persons’: after τοὺς ἐν τέλει we should expect αὐτούς; but the speakers, rather than the officials, are referred to A special Assembly (σύγκλητος ἐκκλησία) was summoned for the purpose. (G. Gilbert, B. zur innern Geschichte Athens, 142, assigns the debates on Mytilene to the end of the official year 428-7. It is probable that Cleon was in that year Strategus, having replaced Lysicles the προβατοπώλης, who had been killed in Caria in the winter. Busolt, however, places the debates in the first prytany of the following year, 427-6, wheu Cleon and those like him were replaced in the strategia by Nicias and Laches, men strongly opposed to Cleon. In either case, it is obvious that party-feeling must have run very high just at this time.
τὴν προτέραν—sc. γνώμην, ‘proposal,’ from γνῶμαι above: νικᾶν is ‘to carry,’ as in νικᾷ ἕτερον ψήφισμα Φιλοκρἀτης, Aeschin, III. 63. (I do not think that the sense of γνώμη shifts here from ‘views’ to ‘decree,’ and that consequently τῇ προτέρᾳ ‘on the previous day’ should be read.) βιαιότατος—this is the first time that Thuc. mentions Cleon, though he had been rising for some time. The views of him expressed by ancient authors, whether as politician or as orator, are almost uniformly unfavourable. As regards Thuc.'s opinion of him, and the following speech, see Introd. p. xxxvii.
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